If you think there is a lack of fun stuff to do in your household, you should probably consider purchasing a pinball machine. Ever since these machines first appeared in arcade shops all around the country and the world, people, both young and old, have gone crazy about this simple, yet addictive fun.

Purchasing a pinball machine for home use is fairly similar to purchasing a car. By this, we mean it is a rather large investment, as it requires extensive maintenance and care. Also, just like in the car sales business, there are crooks and honest people as well.


When it comes to the pinball machines, you should know that they fall into three main categories. These are:

  1. Used electro-mechanical machines, also known as EM machines.
  2. Used solid-state machines
  3. Brand new machines (keep in mind that all new machines are built with solid-state technology).


Before you actually opt to buy a particular pinball machine, you should know what you want in the first place. For example, if you are more considered about the speed and the performance of the machine, you should probably focus on solid-state models. On the other hand, if you are more interested in doing some personal customizations, alterations, or simply rebuilding a pinball machine, you should pay more attention to the electro-mechanical models. Keep in mind that using a solid-state machine for custom alterations will only get you so far, given how the majority of its game mechanics are typically reliant on a circuit board, not springs and contacts.

When looking for a pinball machine for sale, there are also some other things you should know, apart from understanding how they function. For example, you should know what kind of game you want to play. These days, the market for pinball games is bigger than ever, so it will take you some time and effort to find exactly what you want.


Next up, you should take into consideration the amount of money you are willing to spend. In general, the final cost will depend on the condition of the machine, its rarity, as well as the popularity of the game. For instance, on older solid-state model can be found for around $250 to $300. On the other hand, brand new machines can reach prices of more than $3500. On average, a machine that is a few years old will typically cost from $1000 to $2000.

EM (electromagnetic) pinball machines are usually priced $300 to $1000, with unique, collector’s models costing considerably more. Some popular games such as Fireball or Humpty Dumpty can reach prices of a few thousand dollars.


If you are new to the world of pinball machines and preparing to make your first purchase, you should go for a working model first. Keep in mind that it can be rather complex to get an old machine into working condition without special equipment and experience. Remember that buying from reputable game dealers or collectors will give you a considerably higher chance of ending up with a quality machine.

Lastly, you can also find quality models online, at regional auctions, or from operators. This is especially true if you are interested in EM machines.



Post Author: Anthony Vaughn

Anthony Vaughn
I get my inspiration from the fictional world. I'm a social geek.